When a homeowner dies, the home changes hands. It could pass to a surviving spouse or child whose name is on the deed, or be bequeathed to the family as part of the homeowner’s estate. Often, the family wants to sell the home.
If you are working with an estate to sell property, keep these things in mind:
Talk to the Executor
The deceased homeowner’s will should have named an executor. Only that person can make financial decisions for the estate, including setting the asking price.
If No Will...
If the homeowner died without a will, the estate may go to probate court. The purpose of court involvement is to protect the rights of the family, those entitled to receive property, and the creditors of the deceased person’s estate, according to the Texas Bar Association. State law governs who inherits what if the estate has no will.
Bills to Pay?
The estate is required to pay outstanding debts. The executor must make sure the estate has enough money to cover them. Texas is one of nine community property states, meaning relatives may be required to pay off the deceased person’s debt. Make sure there is nothing preventing the sale of the property.
The family has lost an important person. It is stressful to handle paperwork and make decisions while mourning. Be understanding and sympathetic.
SAN ANTONIO, Texas (KSAT.com) -- City of San Antonio voters on Saturday passed the city’s largest-ever bond program, including a first-of-its-kind affordable housing portion.
Mayor Ron Nirenberg declared victory before 10 p.m. for the six propositions making up the $1.2 billion bond package. At that point, each of the propositions, A through F, had between 59.9% and 72.4% approval.
The bond program does not include a tax increase.
“The statement tonight is San Antonians believe in each other,” Nirenberg told a crowd at a watch party for the Taking Care of SA campaign, which supported the bonds. “We rally around each other. We know we’ve been through a very difficult time, but we are not satisfied with the status quo. We’re working to make our city better, stronger, more equitable and resilient than ever before, and that’s what this vote represents.”
The bond includes:
✅ Streets, bridges, and sidewalks - $471.6M
✅ Parks and recreation - $271.9M
✅ Drainage and flood control - $169.9M
✅ Affordable housing - $150M
✅ Public Safety Facilities - $78.3M
✅ Library and Cultural Facilities - $58.4M
The housing bond, Proposition F, garnered the least support, while the propositions for streets and drainage, A and B respectively, topped the list.
Nirenberg attributed the range of support to familiarity. This is the city’s first bond to include affordable housing after voters approved a charter change in May 2021 to allow for it.
“So there’s a lot of work left to do in informing and making sure people are aware of the housing proposals and the work that we’re doing in housing,” he told reporters. “But I think, again, the numbers across the board, Propositions A through F, were all strongly supported. And that statement, as a whole, is a strong faith in the future of San Antonio and faith in each other as San Antonians.”
Some of the highlights include:
$103.5M for expanding the greenway trail system by another 21 miles
$15.7M for public art -- 1.5 percent of the whole bond (except housing)
$44M for two replacement fire stations (D1 and D5) and one new police substation (D3)
$100.5M to reconstruct failed streets around the city Improvements to 30% of the city’s parks, including 9 new park properties
$150M for affordable housing - the housing portion of the bond does not include individual projects, but rather broad categories for using the funding, with a focus on helping lower-income households.
AUSTIN, Texas (Nexstar) — Texans voted for property tax relief, passing two different constitutional amendments in the May election.
Proposition 1 and 2 will pass with a wide majority of the vote. Proposition 1 on Texas’ May election ballot sets out to give disabled and senior individuals a tax break by paying less to public schools. It would lower their school property tax bills year after year.
Both of the constitutional amendments garnered unanimous bipartisan support from Texas lawmakers, who say the propositions will help relieve the high property taxes Texans are experiencing as the housing market continues to boom.
Proposition 1 would freeze the frozen school property tax bills for the elderly and Texans with disabilities starting in 2023. It would also lower their school property tax bills year after year.
In the 2019 session, lawmakers passed school funding legislation that could conceivably push the tax rate below the level it was when a homeowner had their taxes frozen. Prop. 1 aims to change the state’s constitution to allow the rates to drop for those homeowners, if those rates drop below the levels where they were frozen. The proposition does not allow for rates to increase beyond where they’re already frozen.
The ballot language in this proposition has caused some concern, as it is not easily understood in the way it is written on the ballot.
Here’s how it reads: “Proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing the legislature to provide for the reduction of the amount of a limitation on the total amount of ad valorem taxes that may be imposed for general elementary and secondary public school purposes on the residence homestead of a person who is elderly or disabled to reflect any statutory reduction from the preceding tax year in the maximum compressed rate of the maintenance and operations taxes imposed for those purposes on the homestead.”
Dale Cramer, president of the Texas Taxpayers and Research Association, said Texans should think of Prop. 1 as a way of extending additional tax relief to senior citizens and those with disabilities.
Property taxes for school purposes in Texas are frozen at their current rate once someone turns 65. However, last legislative session, lawmakers passed a bill that forces school tax rates down.
“If your school taxes were capped say, 10 years ago, when your value was much less, you’re not getting any benefit from those rates declining because your values are far beyond where they were when the cap was set,” Cramer said.
“What Proposition 1 does is…whatever your capped amount, no matter when that occurred, as school tax rates come down, it will bring down your cap amount as well.”
Proposition 2 would increase the homestead exemption Texans can take on their school district property taxes from $25,000 to $40,000. That would begin Jan. 1, 2022.
Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, authored both of the proposed constitutional amendments and said Proposition 2 will provide long-term relief to property owners in Texas.
“The homes that qualify get an extra $15,000 exemption, which translates to about $175 per year savings for the lifetime that they — that anybody has a home. And that’s thousands of dollars of savings over the life of a homeowner in Texas,” he said.
Actual savings would depend on local tax rates.
Cramer said if these constitutional amendments are approved by voters, it will not significantly impact the budgets of Texas’ public schools.
“Under the school finance formulas, school districts are guaranteed a fixed dollar amount per student. The only thing that changes is how much of that is paid with property tax and how much of that is paid with state aid,” he said.
A deed is a legal document used to transfer ownership of property from one party to another. There are different types of deeds, and each serves a specific legal purpose depending on the known and unknown history of the property, the existence of a lien, and/or other encumbrance like a mortgage.
The six most common types of deeds are:
This list of deeds explains the specifics of each individual deed type and when to use them:
1. Quitclaim Deed
A quitclaim deed is used to transfer property between familiar parties, such as family members or even divorced spouses. That’s because unlike other types of deeds, a quitclaim deed offers little legal protection to the grantee (the recipient of the transfer).
For example, if the grantor turns out not to legally own the property outlined in the deed, the grantee can’t take legal action. In addition, there are no legal protections against liens or other encumbrances that might exist on the property. Quitclaim deeds involve a high degree of trust as a result, and are preferred by people who know each other well.
This type of deed can also be used if the grantor isn’t entirely sure of the title’s status, and whether or not it has any defects.
2. Deed of Trust
A deed of trust transfers the title of an asset from a trustor to the trustee for the benefit of a third party, known as the beneficiary.
Most often, a deed of trust is used instead of a mortgage, acting as security against a loan that a trustor has transferred to a trustee. Essentially, the trustee holds the property until the borrower has paid off the debt, agreeing to sell the property in the event that the borrower defaults on their loan.
The trustee retains possession of the legal title to the property (which entails legal and financial responsibility), while the borrower keeps the equitable title, meaning they are legally able to enjoy or use the property.
3. Warranty Deed
Different types of warranty deeds are used to offer various legal protections to the grantor, in the event there’s a problem or defect with the title once it’s been transferred.
Warranty deeds come with different levels of protection, and are split into two distinct categories:
General Warranty Deed
Typically used in residential real estate transactions, a general warranty deed guarantees that the seller has the full legal right to sell the property, and that the property is completely free and clear of debts, liens, or other encumbrances.
This type of deed comes with the most significant protection for the grantee, and provides them legal recourse in the event an unsettled debt or issue with the deed arises.
Special Warranty Deed
A special warranty deed protects a grantee against any issues or claims that might have arisen during the time the grantor owned the property entirely. It doesn’t apply to the entire history of the property, as the property’s whole history isn’t likely known by the current owner.
Most often, this type of deed is used in the sale of residential real estate, or for commercial property. While not providing as much legal protection as a general warranty deed, it does:
4. Grant Deed
A grant deed is a specific deed type that transfers the interest in a property from the seller to the buyer in exchange for a previously agreed upon price.
While the grant deed guarantees that the seller owns the property entirely, it doesn’t offer the buyer legal protection against any title defects such as an:
5. Bargain and Sale Deed
This type of real estate deed is used in the sale or transfer of residential real estate; however, it offers no guarantee that the property is free of debts or liens. It only states that the grantor is the title-holder, and little else.
As with a quitclaim deed, the grantee would acquire any lien in place against the property along with the title.
6. Mortgage Deed
A mortgage deed is a document signed between a homeowner and a bank or lending institution, allowing said institution to put a lien on the property if the loan isn’t repaid. This deed secures property as collateral for a loan — meaning a “mortgage payment” is paid towards a loan debt, with the house serving as security in the event of a default.
When a mortgage deed is in effect, the legal title to the property is held by the financial institution for the duration of the loan repayment period.
The various types of real estate deeds all serve different functions, and offer differing levels of protection during the transfer of a property or piece of land. Knowing the difference between deeds can help you understand which level of protection is necessary for your real estate transaction.
Now that you understand the various types of deeds, be sure you understand the difference between a title and deed before you consider transferring your property.
Congressional leaders released a long-awaited framework Thursday for President Joe Biden’s signature Build Back Better plan, proposing a top-line price tag and an outline of new social programs.
The $1.75 trillion framework includes hard-fought NAR priorities like investments in affordable housing and down-payment assistance and spares real estate investment from the most feared taxes.
President Biden announced the proposal at the White House after a morning meeting at the Capitol.
“NAR’s advocacy operation is built for crossroads moments like this one. For the past year, we have educated lawmakers on the effects of misguided and harmful taxes on real estate and the need for affordable housing investment,” says Shannon McGahn, chief advocacy officer at NAR.
The framework agreement is also the key to unlocking a vote in the House on a $1.2 trillion bipartisan “hard” infrastructure bill, which has already passed the Senate. Progressives want a deal on the social spending plan before voting on the bipartisan bill that funds traditional infrastructure championed by NAR like roads, bridges, broadband, and the power grid.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signaled she may bring the bipartisan infrastructure bill to a vote as soon as today.
“Support for this framework and the bipartisan bill’s passage is far from certain, but this announcement shows increased momentum for the effort to get the bill to the president’s desk,” McGahn says.
Historic Investment in Affordable Housing
The framework includes a $150 billion investment in affordable housing, a key NAR priority and focus of its advocacy efforts for the past year.
Under the agreement, public housing and rental assistance would get funding boosts. The plan would also create more than one million new affordable rental and single-family homes and invest in down-payment assistance.
The White House says the down-payment assistance under the plan would allow “hundreds of thousands of first-generation homebuyers to purchase their first home and build wealth.”
As negotiations continued in recent weeks, media reports suggested that housing provisions might be cut from the bill altogether.
In response, last week, NAR CEO Bob Goldberg joined other housing leaders and key members of Congress near the Senate steps for a press conference calling for the inclusion of affordable housing provisions in the final bill.
“As a nation, we have to find ways to close the supply shortfall,” Goldberg said at the press conference. “Doing so will be particularly meaningful for lower-income households, millennials, and households of color.”
“We continued to press both publicly and privately for these provisions,” McGahn says. “Affordable housing is the key to unlocking prosperity for millions of Americans currently excluded from the American Dream. This investment is critical for closing the racial homeownership gap and addressing income disparity. It opens up homeownership for first-generation and first-time buyers.”
The framework agreement includes funding for the following programs within the housing section:
· Public housing
· Housing Trust Fund
· Down-payment assistance
· Housing vouchers
· Minority Business Development Agency
Tax Provisions Spare Real Estate Investments
The plan is paid for with new taxes on high-income individuals and businesses, but the most feared taxes on real estate investment were excluded.
“Some of the earlier tax proposals floated would have devastated the real estate sector, which makes up nearly one-fifth of the entire economy,” McGahn says. “This framework has no 1031 like-kind exchange limits, no capital gains tax increases, no change in step-up in basis, no tax on unrealized capital gains, no increased estate tax, no carried-interest provisions, and no 199A limits. The tax provision of this framework is very positive for consumers, property owners, and the real estate economy.”
“We worked for more than a year to educate lawmakers on these issues and launched a targeted Call For Action on taxes. The tax provision of this framework is testament to the effectiveness of our education campaign in Washington,” McGahn continues.
The plan does not mention State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction relief. However, congressional leaders still support an increase in the SALT cap, and a group of bipartisan House members is still demanding a solution.
“Congressional leadership can address SALT through an amendment once a bill is under formal debate,” McGahn says. “We won’t let down our guard on SALT and are still hopeful for a solution.”
Judy Jones listed a property with solar panels in Kennadale for a seller who had to move out of state due to a catastrophic accident. The broker-associate from Southlake was trying to put together all the necessary information on behalf of her client and was having trouble getting a response from the solar panel company.
“I lost the first buyer because the solar company didn’t respond to my requests for three weeks,” she says. “Another contract came in on the property. The title company contacted the solar panel company several times to get the paperwork for closing. It took two weeks to get a response, and the solar company said that the buyer would need to assume the lease on the panels—there were 16 years remaining on the original 20-year lease—and they wanted me to sell the lease to the buyer!”
The second buyer wasn’t able to qualify for a mortgage loan once the lender factored in the 16-year lease as a lien on the property.
Jones’s experience isn’t unique. Most owners don’t know or don’t remember what is in the paperwork they signed with the solar panel company.
How the Texas Real Estate Commission contract forms handle the sale of a property with solar panels depends on whether the panels are paid off, financed, or leased.
PAID OFF PANELS
If the solar panels are fully paid off, they are treated the same as any other fixture in Paragraph 2 of the TREC contracts.
If the panels were financed, the solar panel company has likely placed a lien on the property. Paragraph 9B(4) of the TREC contracts make it clear that all existing liens must either be satisfied by the seller at closing or assumed by the buyer. The solar panel company might also have its own requirements that must be satisfied if the home and panels are sold.
Encourage your sellers early in the process to review the contract they signed and contact the solar panel company—preferably before the property is listed. Sellers and listing agents would need to calculate the cost of satisfying the solar panel lien in their estimate of proceeds. If the lien is going to be assumed by the buyers, the parties need to seek help from a private attorney. The buyers should also speak with their lender, since assuming the lien could cause issues with obtaining third-party financing.
If the panels are leased, the Addendum Regarding Fixture Leases (TXR 1954, TREC 52-0) must be used. This form allows the buyers and sellers to negotiate whether the lease will be assumed and whether the panels will remain on the property. Additionally, the form requires sellers to deliver copies of the solar lease to the buyers, allows the buyers to terminate the contract if the sellers fail to timely deliver copies of the lease, and reiterates that all liens must be satisfied at closing or assumed by the buyers.
Again, the solar company may have additional requirements that the buyers must satisfy before the lease can be assumed, and the assumption of the lease could cause issues with the buyers obtaining third-party financing. The buyers would need to consult with a private attorney and their lender to address any issues that arise relating to the solar lease.
Here's a little refresher on Stage 1 Watering Rules:
Note: These restrictions will continue until there is an announcement in the newspaper that Stage 2 or year-round rules are in effect. For watering recommendations and other timely tips, visit GardenStyleSA and you can contact SAWS for a free irrigation system consultation. If you have questions, contact the SAWS Conservation Department at (210)704-SAVE (7283).
It’s officially Pride Month, and after more than a year in lockdown, it’s time to celebrate! Although some festivities may still be virtual, or a bit more muted than in past years, there are still plenty of reasons—and opportunities—to dust off that rainbow flag and get ready to kiki across the country.
And while you’re at it, maybe you can even find a new place to live. But where?
While big cities like San Francisco and New York have been long-renowned for their thriving gay scenes, they’re also notoriously expensive places to buy a home. And with home prices rising just about everywhere, it’s more important than ever to find places that are not only gay-friendly but also budget-friendly. That’s why the Realtor.com® data team sought out the nation’s most affordable gay meccas.
What we found were mostly smaller cities with thriving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer cultures, and college towns that have strong anti-discriminatory laws. All of them have good housing stock, plenty of things to do, and prices that are still (relatively) within reach.
Safety and an accepting community are two of the most important considerations of gay home buyers, according to a report last month by Freddie Mac and the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, an organization of real estate professionals.
“LGBTQ folks want an equitable experience,” says Ryan Weyandt, CEO of the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance. “You don’t [want] to walk out your door and go into a world that’s abrasive and wants to judge you.”
Members of the LGBTQ community are still less likely to own a home. Only about half are homeowners compared with about 65% of the general population, according to the report. That number is even lower for LGBTQ people of color, who are more likely to experience housing discrimination.
One reason is a sexual orientation wage gap. Gay men are more likely to get paid less than heterosexual men, according to research from UCLA’s Williams Institute. And while lesbians tend to earn more than heterosexual women, most still earn less than either gay or heterosexual men.
Another challenge: gentrification that’s been going on for years in larger cities pricing people out. Because of this, some LGBTQ people are looking for other places to call home, says Amin Ghaziani, a professor of sociology and Canada Research Chair in Urban Sexualities at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
To come up with this list, the Realtor.com data team found states that had at least 2.5 married or co-habitating same-sex couples per 1,000 residents using U.S. Census Bureau data. Then we looked at cities in these states that received a score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s annual Municipal Equality Index, where the LGBTQ advocacy group assesses equality in cities’ policies, laws, and services.
To make sure these cities are really LGBTQ meccas, each place had to have its own Pride celebration festival. Finally, we sorted the list by the median list price of a home in May and limited our list to just one destination per state to ensure geographic diversity.
So where are the hottest “gayborhoods”? Let’s take a look:
Median list price in May: $299,050
The gay community in Pittsburgh offers an intertwined hometown feel, which is why it was chosen as the setting for “Queer as Folk,” the groundbreaking Showtime series of the early aughts.
“‘Queer as Folk’ kind of put Pittsburgh on the gay map,” says Brian Larson, a sales specialist with Coldwell Banker Real Estate in Pittsburgh. “Since then, our pride festivals have grown year over year into something that has really kind of been a destination.”
Recently, Larson has worked with transplants from Los Angeles and other people who can work from anywhere.
They “are finding places like Pittsburgh where they can actually have quite a lavish lifestyle as far as homes go compared to other markets like San Francisco,” Larson says.
Queer icons like Andy Warhol, Gertrude Stein, and Willa Cather have all called Pittsburgh home at one point, and the arts scene is still thriving today, with the Warhol Museum and the contemporary art museum the Mattress Factory. There’s also an active theater scene, with the annual Pride Theater Festival held in summer and the Pittsburgh International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival in the fall.
Most of the LGBTQ nightlife is located in the Shadyside neighborhood, a historic and walkable area that also has galleries and restaurants. A two-story condo there is currently on the market for $329,900. Penn Hills is more family-friendly with a good school system and plenty of historic homes. This three-bedroom, 2.5-bath home there is listed for $239,900.
Median list price in May: $299,950
The state capital of Rhode Island is home to fewer than 200,000 people, but it still has a thriving gay scene. The artsy, college town is home to Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. Bars serving the LGBTQ community are located downtown, though there are more to choose from throughout the city.
Providence’s PrideFest, which attracts more than 100,000 people every June, has been postponed to later this year because of the COVID-19pandemic. But those interested in putting down roots can snag a three-bed, 1.5-bath Colonial in the desirable Broadway-Armory Historic District, west of downtown, for under $400,000.
Median list price in May: $337,050
Virginia Beach, a coastal city where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, is one of Virginia’s prime resort towns, with much of its economy based on the tourism industry. It has no shortage of historic sites, three military bases, and tons of restaurants and bars. It also has a growing LGBTQ community.
The annual Hampton Roads PrideFest, which includes a boat parade, has been moved to September this year, but there are still plenty of things to do during Pride Month. Festivities started Saturday at MJ’s Tavern, a gay watering hole in nearby Norfolk. At the end of the month, a Pride Kiki is planned at Ocean Breeze Waterpark.
While there’s no designated gayborhood in Virginia Beach, the ViBe Creative District is an artsy cultural hub. Because of its proximity to the ocean, real estate here can get a bit pricey. This three-bedroom, 3.5-bath condo is currently on the market for $430,000.
Median list price in May: $349,950
Famously considered the gay capital of Florida, Fort Lauderdale has one of the highest concentrations of same-sex couples in the country, along with its lower-profile neighbor Wilton Manors, our No. 1 most LGBTQ-friendly city last year. Combined, the two cities have more than 200 gay-owned hotels, restaurants, bars, and shops, according to the state’s tourism bureau, and more than 1 million LGBTQ travelers visit every year.
In 2019, Fort Lauderdale passed a law that protects the city’s LGBTQ community from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. In 2012, the Broward County school district became the first in the nation to recognize LGBT History Month.
Median list price in May: $350,050
A college town at heart, Madison is home to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a state school with more than 30,000 students. The highly educated and progressive city is one of the gay-friendliest in the Midwest.
Besides its arts community—which includes StageQ, a queer theater group that highlights LGBTQ stories—there’s plenty of outdoor activities to choose from. There are 200 miles of biking and hiking trails to explore, and Lake Mendota offers kayaking and fishing.
Popular neighborhoods for LGBTQ people are Middleton, a few miles west of downtown Madison. It offers a mix of urban amenities with a suburban feel. A four-bedroom, two-bath midcentury home here costs about $400,000
Median list price in May: $359,050
Bloomington, home to Indiana University, offers another LGBTQ-friendly oasis in the Midwest.
The city has received a perfect 100-point score on the Human Rights Commission’s Municipal Equality Index for the past six years. And in 2010, the Advocate magazine ranked Bloomington as the fourth-gayest city in the country.
This college town has not one, but two annual LGBTQ festivals: PRIDE Summerfest and PRIDE Film Festival. It also has a rich theater and music community, an LGBTQ community center, and the groundbreaking Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction.
Unlike some larger cities, there isn’t one primarily gay neighborhood—but that means there’s more room to spread out. Those looking to put down roots can scoop up a two-bed, two-bath condo in the artsy downtown neighborhood near campus for under $675,000. For a more affordable option, a single-family home near downtown is currently listed at $349,900.
Median list price in May: $450,050
Atlanta is the epicenter of the gay South, and members of the LGBTQ community have flocked there from more conservative towns and states for decades.
The city’s rep as the “Hollywood of the South” has helped bring in a more glamorous and artsy vibe as of late, and there’s plenty of gay-friendly businesses to choose from. In fact, Atlanta has such a large, active LGBTQ community that it hosts two major pride events, Atlanta Pride and Atlanta Black Pride.
The heart of the gay community, where all the best bars are located, is in midtown, around the intersection of Piedmont Avenue and 10th Street. A modern industrial condo there is currently listed below $350,000, while a single-family home steps from Piedmont Park (where the annual pride festival is held) is on the market for $799,900.
Median list price in May: $499,050
Things in this historic town have become considerably more tolerant since the days of the Salem witch trials. Salem has a small gay scene and only one gay bar, but it has a popular Rainbow Pride parade (moved to September this year) as well as other events throughout the year, including the Salem Art Fair and Festival in July, the Salem Film Festival, and the Salem Lit Fest.
Bonus: For those looking for more exciting nightlife, Boston is just 15 miles northeast. A turnkey Colonial built in 1930 and located right near Salem State University runs about $480,000.
Median list price in May: $635,050
Another LGBTQ-friendly enclave in the South, Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in America, far transcending its funky college town roots. It’s a place that seems to have something for everyone.
Austin is home to an LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce, an international drag festival, and several pride parades, including Queerbomb, an anti-corporate alternative to the main event.
There’s no central gay neighborhood here, but many of the gay bars are clustered downtown, in the Warehouse District. Homes there are not cheap, though, with a newly built, two-bed, 2.5-bath condo listed at $1.9 million. But the beauty about Austin is people don’t need to live in just one neighborhood to enjoy the queer culture. A single-family home overlooking Lake Travis is listed closer to the city’s median list price, at $639,000.
Median list price in May: $729,050
Long Beach isn’t what most people would quite call affordable. However, it offers less pricey options than nearby Los Angeles, along with a more chill vibe.
Long Beach Pride has been held every June since the 1980s and includes a weeklong celebration of the diverse LGBTQ community here. Besides the beaches, there are plenty of things to do here.
“It’s kind of like if San Diego and L.A. had a baby, that would be Long Beach,” says Charlotte Kornik, a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Coastal Alliance. “It’s very kumbaya in terms of live and let live.”
The center of Long Beach’s gay scene is located along Broadway, between downtown and Belmont Shore. It’s close to the beach, so real estate is pricey here. Buy buyers can snag a three-bedroom historic home in nearby Belmont Heights that is on the market for under $1 million.
The 87th session of the Texas Legislature is underway at the Texas Capitol, and Texas REALTORS® is advocating for several bills that support anti-discrimination efforts.
Removing Discriminatory Covenants in Real Estate Deeds
Some communities in Texas have language in their real estate deeds from years ago that is discriminatory and unconstitutional. While this language is not enforceable, Texas REALTORS® respects the interests of property owners who wish to remove the covenants from their real estate deeds. However, the process to remove that language is burdensome and complicated under current law.
Texas REALTORS® supports Senate Bill 30, authored by Sen. Royce West, which would allow property owners to go through the county clerk’s office to remove discriminatory covenants from their real estate deeds. The Texas Legislature has been advancing this bill with great support. Last week, the Senate unanimously passed SB 30 after unanimous approval from the Senate State Affairs Committee. As of April 6, the bill has been moved on to the Texas House of Representatives.
In addition, Texas REALTORS® supports legislation that makes it easier to remove discriminatory covenants from HOA documents, such as House Bill 1202 by Rep. Jacey Jetton, which is scheduled to be heard in the House Committee on Business and Industry.
Expanding Protected Classes in Fair Housing Laws
Texas REALTORS® supports legislation that seeks to expand fair housing laws in Texas to include sexual orientation and gender identity among the protected classes. The current protected classes are race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin. In February 2021, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity among the protected classes at the federal level. The passage of this legislation would put state fair housing laws in line with federal fair housing laws.